Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley CEOs give up 2008 bonus

Top executives at the US financial giants Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley will not receive their bonus for 2008.
At Morgan Stanley, chief executive John Mack is said to have written a memorandum to employees stating that he and the company’s two co-presidents would be forgoing their annual bonus.

Meanwhile John Thain, chairman and chief executive at Merrill Lynch, informed the bank’s board that neither he nor the top four executives should receive a bonus for the previous year, given the current economic and market conditions.

John D Finnegan, chairman of the Merrill Lynch Management, Compensation and Development committee, said: “The Board accepted Mr Thain and his management team’s request and applauded the Thain-led management team’s superb performance in an exceptionally challenging environment.”

It comes amid growing scrutiny of Wall Street pay following the financial turmoil, which has seen regulators and politicians put pressure on US finance chiefs to exercise pay restraint.